Should a social media marketing agency care about the profitability of the platform it uses? This is a very relevant question in the wake of recent efforts by Twitter to raise its profile and continue bolstering its stock price. Shares rose 13 percent this past Tuesday, according to Reuters, as a result of better-than-expected ad revenue.
Some commentators were skeptical about the company’s transparency and its prospects for the future. But does their opinion have any bearing on a social media marketing agency’s efforts to exploit the micro-blogging site’s popularity?
Obviously, the platform’s financial projections aren’t meaningless. Neither are the market forces that are affecting those projections. But it’s not clear how a platform’s ad revenue might make it a better or worse outlet for the organic sorts of marketing that social media facilitates.
Of course, one aspect of Twitter’s rosy outlook has to do with its user base. While some experts were expecting the number of monthly active users to go down slightly, they actually went up by about nine million. Better still, the increase apparently reflects a shift toward a user base that is more reliably human. Bots and suspicious accounts were recently purged from the platform as part of an effort to improve the quality of engagements.
That fact is certainly relevant to any social media marketing agency that makes use of Twitter. On one hand, it means that there’s lesser risk of wasting one’s time on pulling in likes and retweets from accounts that might not even have potential customers behind them. On the other hand, if the pattern holds it means that a social media marketing agency will have a harder time of deploying bots or dummy accounts for its own purposes.
The current trajectory of the Twitter platform confronts certain marketers with a choice. A company’s staff may have to ask itself: What kind of social media marketing agency do we want to be? And ideally, everyone will be inclined to answer that question with, “A reputable one.” In that case, social media marketing on Twitter may come to be a more level playing field, at least among agencies that are working on organic outreach.
But what about the non-organic techniques of traditional advertising? Twitter’s positive performance mostly relates to the growth of ad revenue through more effective targeting and new partnerships. For some clients of a social media marketing agency, this could represent an opportunity to take a dual approach to their campaign. If running ads on Twitter is more effective than before, and it’s a platform you’re already established on, this could be a way to raise the public’s interest in a very short time.
But for another user and another social media marketing agency, it’s possible that more effective advertising on Twitter means more competition with your free methods of public outreach. But that remains to be determined. Clients and marketing professionals will need to carefully observe changes in the Twitterverse over the next few months, and be ready to adjust their strategies accordingly, if necessary.
This article just begins to touch upon the ways in which changes to the landscape of social media can have an impact on the work of a social media marketing agency. But each aspect of those changes could be discussed on its own for pages at a time. A brief survey of Twitter’s latest moves should provide food for thought. But if you own a commercial Twitter account, the best way to really digest those thoughts is by sitting down with your marketing team to make sure that your overall strategy is fully up to date.